When bush planes and outboard motors were opening up the far North, schoolteacher Prentice Downes chose to travel alone by canoe to explore the Great Barren Lands. Here is the sensitively written account of his trip to remote, unmapped Nueltin Lake. Downes records a landscape and a people barely touched by white men and describes the excitement
of wilderness canoe travel, the delights of discovering the land, and his deep respect for the Indians and the Inuit and their ways of life.
Sleeping Island is the story of P.G. Downes' 1939 canoe expedition through unmapped country in the remote northern corner of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. His journey takes him to the edge of the Canadian Barrens, a desolate arctic wasteland known to the Indians as the "Land of Little Sticks." What helps elevate this book over many of the chronicles of early twentieth century canoe excursions is Downes' intimate knowledge of the trappers, traders, and especially the Indians who live off the land. This is what it was like on the cusp of change, just before the advance of civilization and titanic forces that would forever transform the face of Canada's north countr